Midfield crisis hitting United

this is the time for them to show it to us, to be a part of this team when the team needs you."

Nowak also moderated expectations about young striker Santino Quaranta, recently returned from abdominal surgery.

"I think he's three, four weeks away from being 100 percent fit," Nowak said. "Fitness is my big concern. You see in the game against Nottingham Forest, at the end he missed a sitter, when normally he's not going to be that tired. So we're going to work on that. I don't want to have a situation like we had with Thiago (Martins), bringing him back too early, too soon, and then something wrong is going to happen."

In the meantime, United president and CEO Kevin Payne continues to work with technical director Dave Kasper to identify D.C.'s long-rumored late-season signing.

"You really have to give credit to Dave and KP, because they work very, very hard to bring us the guy who's going to make a difference," says Nowak. "We don't need bodies who are just going to be there and try to fit into the system.

"We are looking at different people right now, and the (salary) situation. I don't know if it's going to be a goalscorer or playmaker, we'll see how this goes. I'm very positive that something will happen in the next two, three weeks, before the transfer window closes."

Charles Boehm is a contributor to

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